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Return to Monkey Island: A first look at the new chapter in the Ron Gilbert series


More than thirty years after the release of The Secret of Monkey Island , Ron Gilbert is preparing to write the final word on the adventures of the fearsome pirate Guybrush Threepwood with an episode that already promises to be the worthy conclusion of a saga that has now become a legend. .

Coming in 2022 for PC and exclusively on Nintendo Switch consoles , Return to Monkey Island will allow us to relive the adventures of Guybrush, in full compliance with the canon of the main series and the traditional play formula that characterizes the saga.

On the occasion of the latest Nintendo Direct Mini, Terryble Toybox and Devolver Digital have returned to talk about the game by releasing a first gameplay trailer . A surprise as welcome as it was unexpected that made the joy of all those fans eager to return to sail the Caribbean Sea between duels to the sound of insults, pirate raids and surreal encounters to say the least.

So let’s try to analyze the Return to Monkey Island trailer to find out some more details about the new adventure that awaits us.

Return to Monkey Island

Return to Monkey Island: A first look at the new chapter in the Ron Gilbert series


It has been many years since Guynrush Threepwood was last embroiled in a battle of wits with his nemesis, the zombie pirate LeChuck. The dissatisfaction with never having been able to discover the secret of Monkey Island has led him to live a placid existence far from any kind of extravagance or daring adventure as a new sea wolf. Meanwhile, turmoil reigns on Melee Island: Captain Madison has taken control of the entire island, while Stan finds himself trapped in a dark cell for unspecified “marketing crimes”.

However, if there is one thing that Guybrush has taught us, it is that real pirates cannot resist the charm of adventure : the filibuster is therefore preparing to sail the sea again to discover familiar places and new exciting discoveries.

As you can already guess from the game’s narrative incipit, the story of Return to Monkey Island is set after the events of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge, the second historical chapter of the series and the last one to boast the presence of Ron Gilbert at the helm. of the project. Moreover, the author had already expressed himself in this regard back in 2013, announcing on his blog that if he ever decided to make a new chapter, he would do so only on condition that this could be linked to the first two historical episodes he created.

Return to Monkey Island therefore represents in all respects the third chapter of the series which, however, will not fail to include references and characters from the other chapters of the saga.

The gameplay trailer for the game confirms that the new pirate epic signed by Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman will push us to sail to Melee Island to rediscover many of the iconic places of the series such as the famous Scumm Bar , still full of pirates playing around. gulping down mugs of Grog or Lady Vodoo’s creepy lair . There will also be all those bizarre charactersthat have made our adventures unforgettable since The Secret of Monkey Island and that are preparing to make their return also in this new chapter. In addition to the aforementioned seller Stan, in the video we also see Elaine, Carla, LeChuck and the Murray skull, along with some new figures who seem ready to give us some new and brilliant comic curtain.

Return to Monkey Island: A first look at the new chapter in the Ron Gilbert series

As for the gameplay, an interesting aspect to mention concerns the introduction of Elaine as a playable character, within some sections of the game in which Guybrush does not appear. An unprecedented addition that could enrich our journey in terms of pace and style of play. Furthermore, in the video we also see our intrepid filibuster drawing his sword several times, an element that would indicate the presence of the return of the insult duels.

After all, we know that Gilbert has always preferred challenges of ingenuity to real fighting, so it is very likely that he prefers to carry on this tradition. The fact is that having not had the opportunity to take a more in-depth look at point and click sections, it is certainly difficult to make more in-depth forecasts in this regard.

What we do know, however, is that Return to Monkey Island will certainly not give up its classic playful formula full of puzzles, surreal situations and devastating back and forth.

Gilbert’s goal, as he has emphasized several times, is to be able to give new life to the genre of graphic adventures without giving up the classic light-hearted style that has always characterized the series. After all, the greatness of Monkey Island lies precisely in its brilliant script strewn with memorable situations and characters who still manage to snatch a smile from us today.

About the graphic style

Return to Monkey Island: A first look at the new chapter in the Ron Gilbert series

If there is one element, however, that immediately catches the eye when looking at the trailer, it is undoubtedly the characteristic graphic style adopted by the new chapter. Return to Monkey Island uses a very particular artistic style that incorporates the bright colors, the marked lines and the caricatural deformation typical of pictorial expressionism which, if you think about it, adapt beautifully to the grotesque and humorous tones of the title. However, there are those who do not think so at all: many have lashed out at Ron Gilbert after the release of the gameplay trailer expressing their dissent for the choice of a graphic style so far from the highly appreciated pixel art of the first two Monkey Islands .

In our opinion, however, Ron Gilbert has certainly made the right choice, opting for an artistic style that is neither too retro nor properly modern. After all, we remind you that the Monkey Island series has always looked to the present, opting for graphic and technical solutions that were considered avant-garde at the time, starting from the 16-color graphics of the first to the 256-color VGA of Monkey Island 2, complete with digitization of the drawings by Steve Purcell.

In fact, therefore, it is not surprising to know that even for this new iteration, the author has chosen to experiment with a new approach, looking for new aesthetic solutions more in line with his artistic vision. Basically, Gilbert wanted the style of this new chapter to be impressive , unexpected and able to fully represent what is told in this new adventure, recovering its distinctive features and without nostalgically recalling the past.

Return to Monkey Island is scheduled to debut this year. Alongside Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman, the fathers of the first two chapters, there will also be Dominic Armato to lend the voice to Guybrush Threepwood, three names that alone are enough to make us fully trust in a project that seems to be already destined to revive us. all those extraordinary pirate adventures that still live today among the best memories of our childhood.


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